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Home > Articles > The Herbal Treatment Of Warts

I meet many patients at The Hale Clinic, who have tried many different wart treatments but never manage to rid themselves of the warts. Some patients find that they are spreading. Shaving causes warts to spread across the face in men. Fortunately, there is a way to get rid of warts for good.

What are warts?


Warts are a fleshy growth on the skin caused by a viral infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV). About 10% of people are affected by warts. You can get them at any age. Warts usually occur on the hands or feet, but they can affect the face and other parts of the body. They don't usually cause any harm. After coming into contact with HPV, the virus can lie dormant for up to two years before a wart develops.

There are different types of wart:

  • The common wart (verruca vulgaris) - firm, raised, pink or skin-coloured lumps with a rough surface. They are often seen alone or in clumps on your hands, fingers, elbows, knees or feet
  • Plane wart (verruca plana) - small (2 to 4mm wide), smooth, flat-topped or slightly raised. They affect your face, hands, or legs and can occur alone or in their hundreds. They are usually skin-coloured, light brown or greyish, but are sometimes darker.
  • Filiform wart - long, slender growths on your lips, eyelids, face or neck. They can often group together to form a cluster.
  • Verruca (plantar wart) - small warts (1 to 10mm wide) that occur on the soles of your feet, heels or toes. They can be painful when under pressure. They have a rough surface and small black dots can sometimes be seen under the hard skin. Verrucas can be seen alone or in clusters.
  • Mosaic wart - these occur when a number of verrucas form a cluster.
  • Periungual/subungual wart - these occur around your nails and are more common if you bite your nails.
  • Genital warts - Certain types of HPV affect the genital area, causing a form of sexually transmissible wart. These should be treated at a genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic.

Symptoms of warts and verrucas


Most warts don't cause discomfort but if you have a verruca or periungual wart you may have some pain around them.

Causes of warts and verrucas


There are over 100 different subtypes of HPV that cause warts. Certain types are more likely to cause warts on different parts of your body. The virus is spread by direct skin contact or by touching moist surfaces, such as floors in swimming pools and changing rooms, which have been in contact with a person who has warts. Scratching your skin and shaving your face or legs may cause the warts to spread.

Orthodox Treatment of warts and verrucas


Orthodox treatment for warts can take several weeks or months to be fully effective.

  • A variety of creams, gels and medicated plasters for treating warts are available from pharmacies. Most of these contain salicylic acid as their active ingredient. Examples include the brands Compound W and Bazuka. Salicylic acid works by destroying the thickened skin that makes up the wart. Other products contain chemicals such as formaldehyde (eg Veracur) or glutaraldehyde (eg Glutarol) and work in a similar way. Over-the-counter freezing systems can now be purchased at a pharmacy but are not suitable for people with diabetes or poor circulation. These treatments aren't suitable for using on the face or genital region
  • Cryotherapy - liquid nitrogen is sprayed on the wart. It's available at hospital skin clinics and some GP surgeries. You may need up to three sessions with two to three weeks in between. Cryotherapy can cause pain and blistering around the wart, and infection can sometimes occur 
  • Surgery - your GP will use a curette to scrape the wart away. Surgery often leaves a scar and there is a danger of spreading the wart virus, so cryotherapy is now more common.
  • There are other treatments available, which include creams and lasers, although these are less commonly used.


If your wart changes shape or colour, you should visit your GP.

 

Prevention of warts and verrucas


To prevent warts:

  • avoid direct contact with another person's wart
  • don't share towels with a person who has warts
  • don't share shoes or socks with someone who has a verruca
  • don't scratch or pick at a wart, this may encourage it to spread
  • wear flip-flops in communal showers


If your child has a verruca, he or she can still take part in swimming and physical education lessons, but he or she shouldn't have bare feet and the verruca should be covered with a plaster.

If you have a hand wart, you should wear gloves if you're using communal equipment (for example, in a gym).

 

The Herbal Treatment of Warts


The patients I meet have usually had warts for several years and have tried the orthodox treatment only to find that the warts grow back again. For men, facial warts can be a huge problem. Shaving actually spreads them.

It’s not difficult to see that if someone has the virus that causes warts, freezing the warts off or removing them with acid is no more than a symptomatic treatment. The underlying problem is not being addressed. To treat warts effectively, the root of the problem, namely the Human Papilloma Virus needs to be eradicated. Herbal Medicine can usually do this. It is also essential to question why the virus got into the body in the first place. This is usually a sign of a compromised immune system. It is therefore important to restore immune function as well as eradicating the virus in order to achieve a good clinical outcome.

I have treated many patients, whose warts have spread and numbered in the hundreds. After five weeks of treatment, 50% of the warts have usually disappeared if the patient has taken the prescribed Herbal Medicine and applied the cream as directed. Patients are usually very pleasantly surprised to witness the power of medicinal herbs. The treatment can take several months, depending on the severity of the viral infection. Once the virus is eradicated from the body, there is normally no reoccurrence.

If you are interested in eradicating the virus that is causing your warts, please book a consultation.

 

 



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